This essay uses "A Yellow Raft in Blue Water" to compare characters through their language (register).

Essay by laxkyle17High School, 10th gradeA+, December 2003

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Often times a character in literature is characterized by his or her actions, since many people believe that actions speak louder than words. However, A Yellow Raft in Blue Water provides a different way of characterization, since characters can be compared and contrasted through their register; the way that they describe their surrounds and feelings. For example, the three main characters of the book, Rayona, Christine, and Ida are all very keen to detail, which is shown by their use of metaphors and similes. But despite this similarity, they are different in how they describe these details. Furthermore, their unique interpretations and analysis of events plays a large role in the story. This distinctiveness is well supported by the three different views we are given of events in this story. Therefore, the three main characters of A Yellow Raft in Blue Water are strongly characterized by the similarities and differences in their register and language.

There are many subtle similarities in the language and thoughts of Rayona, Christine, and Ida. They all are very observant, and are do not to miss a detail when they describe a person, or an event. For example, after Rayona reads the letter to Ellen, she is overcome by emotion, and uses similes in saying that "I keep staring at the letter, and it's Mom reading in my head, like in the movies or on TV when the voice of the person who wrote something..." (Dorris 81). Rayona makes the reader relate and know exactly what she is thinking. The way that she does this will become important later on.

Christine is just like Rayona, since she doesn't leave out any details when describing Dayton's letter, especially since she had just found out that her brother had died and "Pictures raced through my mind like...